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Milestones of Typical Speech Development


In our previous blog entries, we have
outlined the difference between communication and speech. To reiterate,
communication is any behaviour exchanged with another person that produces
related or direct social rewards (Frost and Bondy, 2002), whilst speech is the
expression of communication and thoughts through spoken language
(Merriam-Webster Dictionary). We have also provided a general guide on the
symptoms of speech delay.

In today’s blog post, we will be outlining
the general speech development milestones of a typical child. It is important
to note that different children will acquire speech at different rates, and may
meet the milestones earlier or later than the general guidelines.

Below we have listed down the milestones of
typical speech development, extracted from the CDC website.

6 Months:
  • Respond to own name
  • Respond to sounds by making sounds
  • Make sounds to show joy and displeasure
  • Begin to make consonant sounds (jabbering with “m”, “b”)
1 Year:
  • Try to say words you say
  • Use simple gestures, like waving “bye” or shaking head for “no”
  • Say “mama” and “dada”
18 Months:
  • Point to show what they want
  • Say several single words
  • Shake head to say “no”
2 Years:
  • Point to pictures or things in a book
  • Say sentences with 2 to 4 words
  • Know names of familiar people or body parts
3 Years:
  • Say first name, age, and sex
  • Say words like “I”, “me”, “we” and “you”
  • Carry on a conversation with 2 to 3 sentences
  • Can name a friend and most familiar things
4 Years:
  • Can say first and last name
  • Sing a song or a nursery rhyme from memory
  • Tell stories
  • Use basic rules of grammar, such as “he” or “she”
5 Years:
  • Say name and address
  • Speak clearly
  • Tell a simple story using full sentences
  • Use future tense

If you have concerns about your child’s
speech development and notice several of the red flag symptoms, it is important
that you consult a paediatrician early on.


Reference List:
  1. Developmental Milestones. (2016). Retrieved from
  2. Frost, L. & Bondy, A. (2002). The Picture Exchange Communication System. Pyramid Education Products, Australia.